Bianca Bellová is a Prague-based translator, interpreter and author. Following her 2009 debut, "Sentimentální román" (Sentimental Novel), she has published three other books. It was the latest one "Jezero" (The Lake) published in 2016 by Host that fired the imagination of critics and readers alike and in April 2017 the post-apocalyptic novel was awarded with the Magnesia Litera award for Czech book of the year as well as the European Union Prize for Literature, and has since been nominated for a couple of other prizes. For this edition of Czech
Academia Film Olomouc is one of the longest running film festivals in the Czech Republic. What is unique is that this festival, now in its 52nd year, focusses largely on science documentary films. The Future is Now is this year’s motto and it won’t be a surprise that films being screened examine both the promises but also potential risks in fields moving rapidly forward, such as robotics, bioengineering, nanotechnology and of course the big one - artificial intelligence.
I Want You to Be, a book by Czech priest and theologian Tomáš Halík, has received a nomination at the upcoming Foreward INDIES Book of the Year Awards in the philosophy category. The awards aim to recognise independent notable works and winning entries are chosen by readers, librarians and book sellers. I Want You to Be was published in English by the University of Notre Dame Press and is described as as meditation on love towards god, one’s self, friends and enemies.
The Czech writer with Bulgarian roots, Bianca Bellová, 47, has received this year's European Union Prize for Literature for her novel Jezero (The Lake), the European Commission (EC) announced. The prize, which carries with it an award of 5000 euros, has been annually bestowed on talented European writers from the EU member states, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and the EU candidate countries since 2009. It should help them have their books published abroad and address a wider pubic. Bellova's novel The Lake won also the Czech Magnesia Litera main award for the book of the year recently. Her novel is a post-apocalyptic parable of environmental destruction followed by the destruction of human relations and individual souls.
The Magnesia Litera award for Czech book of the year has gone to Jezero (The Lake) by Bianca Bellová. The post-apocalyptic novel alludes to the collapse of the Soviet empire as well as pointing to today’s geopolitical situation. The prestigious Magnesia Litera for best work of prose went to Marek Šindelka’s Únava materialu (Material Fatigue), which was inspired by the recent migrant crisis. Prizes in six other categories were also handed out at Tuesday’s awards ceremony in Prague.
A new guidebook to Brno has come in for strong criticism from representatives of nearby towns that it disparages, Novinky.cz reported. Entitled “This is Brno”, the guide compares Kuřim to a labour camp and a monument to the loss of human judgement, as well describing the wine cellars of Velké Pavlovice as kitschy buildings that are a mockery of architecture. Its authors say they wished to present an unorthodox view of the region. However, one town mayor described the publicly funded publication as a work of childish provocation.
The head of the recently established Czech Literary Centre, Petr Janyška, has left the position after only five weeks, the news website Lidovky.cz reported. Mr. Janyška took up the post in late February, less than two months after the launch of the institution, which is tasked with promoting Czech literature internationally. He told Lidovky.cz that he had quit but refused to outline the reasons. A translator by profession, Mr. Janyška was one of the founders of the weekly Respekt and worked for several years as a diplomat.
Next week, books in the Czech Republic will have their moment in the media limelight. Czech Television will be screening a glitzy awards ceremony for this country’s best-known literary awards, the Magnesia Litera. Over the last sixteen years the awards have helped to draw attention to writers, poets, translators and publishers. There are no less than nine different categories, helping to give the awards ceremony a flavour of the Oscars – a deliberate strategy of Magnesia Litera’s media-savvy founder, Pavel Mandys. He came into the studio to talk
Petr Janyška is the head of the Czech Literary Centre, a recently created state agency that aims to promote the country’s writers internationally. Originally a translator, Janyška was one of the founders of the weekly Respekt before working for many years as a diplomat. Before getting on to his plans for the Czech Literary Centre, I asked him during a recent meeting about his own connection to books and writing.
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